Motor : Pele to honour Schumacher

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Michael Schumacher. PHOTO: AFP
Michael Schumacher. PHOTO: AFP

SAO PAULO: Pele will pay tribute to seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher before Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.

The soccer great will hand a signed trophy to Schumacher in honour of his achievements. The Ferrari driver will end his 16-year career after the season finale.

``It's a great honour and happiness to represent all Brazilians in this trophy presentation for the farewell of the greatest Formula One idol of the moment,'' Pele said. ``Michael is a great example for the younger generation and will never be forgotten.

``I thank him for all the happiness he has given to people around the world.''

The presentation should take place just before the start of the race at the 2.6-mile (4.1-km) Interlagos circuit.

Schumacher, the record F-1 winner with 91 victories, has an outside chance of clinching his eighth title. He needs to win the race and hope Renault's Fernando Alonso fails to finish eighth or better.

There were rumours in the local media that Pele would be back to wave the checkered flag, but organisers denied that and said no celebrities would take part. Pele was part of a fiasco at the 2002 race, when he was distracted as Schumacher came down the final stretch to win. Pele only got the flag into his hands in time to wave it as the following cars crossed the line. AP

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